What do Consumers Pay Attention to When Judging a Local Business by its Reviews?

A recent study shows that online reviews for local businesses are the norm for many consumers: 82% report reading reviews and over 90% say that a positive review makes them more likely to use a business.

Reviews have a vital impact on the behavior of local consumers.

Following are key findings:

Recency of reviews impacts consumers’ decisions:

  • Nearly 3 in 5 consumers judge a review by how recent it is.
  • Almost half say a review should be within two weeks of when they view it in order to impact their decision, while one-fifth say it can be as recent as one month.

Star Ratings:
Consumers consider a minimum number of stars before using a business:

  • The majority of consumers pay attention to overall star ratings.
  • Seventy percent say a business should have either 3 or 4 stars, 53% would consider 3 stars or less, and 12% insist on a 5-star rating.

The quantity of reviews influences consumers’ trust:

  • Half of consumers pay attention to the quantity of reviews.
  • Consumers read an average of ten reviews before trusting a business.

Posting Reviews:
Consumers are more likely to post positive reviews:

  • Three-fifths left a review for a local business after having a positive experience.
  • Only 25% say they left a review after a negative experience.

Reading Responses to Reviews:
Consumers place value on businesses that respond to reviews:

  • Just over 70% of consumers are more likely to use a business that responds to existing reviews.
  • Businesses should respond promptly, politely and helpfully to both positive and negative reviews.

Reviews can have a vital impact on the behavior of local consumers–an online reputation strongly affects whether customers choose to use a business.


Source: The Local Consumer Review Survey-BrightLocal.com, reported by MarketingCharts.com